Construction of an Optical Computer Using Plasma Metamaterial Devices

Cyril Markovitch

I’m going to work in the Stanford Plasma Physics Laboratory (SPPL) with Prof. Mark Cappelli on optical computers. This project aims to overcome current electronic computer limits, especially in the context of increasing calculator power. Indeed, the Moore’s Law of 1975 stated that the number of transistors in a computer doubles every two years to meet the growing needs of our societies in computer power. But this predictive model is no longer valid because of the physical limits of microelectronics. Therefore, there is great interest in developing optical computers in which the information is transmitted at the speed of light, unlike the electron velocity in wires. Furthermore, the propagation of light in waveguides prevents the heating problems that face electronic devices. The SPPL is using a plasma set-up to deviate electromagnetic waves in order to perform basic computer operations such as demultiplexing. They apply inverse design methods to find the best system properties to optimize the computer operations. For instance, we can find the best plasma rods tensions to optimize demultiplexing. I will study properties of the experimental set-up such as the sensitivity of the electron density or the electric permittivity with the input voltage. The purpose is to have a better control of the optimized process.


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